"The public square, the local community, the state and the nation seem filled with shouters proclaiming their own narrow viewpoint. This approach seems to harden the perspectives of others. It is an obstacle to discerning the times we live in."

McPherson Mayor Tom Brown made a statement about Martin Luther King Day during the public input session of the McPherson City Commission regular meeting Monday morning.

"Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In this part of the world we don't have many organizations that are taking time off for the day. I woke up at about 3 this morning thinking it's too bad that we have so little said about what I think is an example to look at," Brown said. "The public square, the local community, the state and the nation seem filled with shouters proclaiming their own narrow viewpoint. This approach seems to harden the perspectives of others. It is an obstacle to discerning the times we live in.

“We need persuaders, men and women who will listen, discern and proclaim advantages and disadvantages. Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. His enduring legacy is proclaiming, persuading, he provided not shouting."

Brown spoke of his childhood in Ohio.

"The air was dirty, the neighborhood was multi-racial, multi-cultural and religiously diverse, but it was not an adversarial environment," Brown said.

During his senior year of high school, Brown visited Tallahassee, Florida. When it cam time to go home, he went to the bus station and walked through the door labeled "black people," not even noticing the sign. He was immediately labeled a black sympathizer.

"Denied breakfast and refused a bus ticket," Brown said. "Finally I was sold the bus ticket and seated in the back seat of the bus, with eight to 10 black people told to surround me so I would not contaminate any of the white people on the bus."

Years later in Washington D.C., Brown attended a church service at the Metropolitan African American Episcopal church. After the meeting, Pastor Bradford gave Brown a tour of the building.

Many years after that, Rosa Parks passed away and her service was held at the same church with the same pastor.

"I share this today on Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a contrast between shouting and persuasion. If we are to avoid chaos and division, we must be more persuasive and move away from shouting our perspective," Brown said. "Ultimately we do not follow an elephant and we do not follow a donkey. As Martin Luther King Jr. did, I believe we should follow the lamb."

Fire Department

Commissioners approved the payment of $3,575 for clothing items with logos and $8,000 to Baysinger's for apparel without logos. These items have to be requested separately, because items without logos could be taken with individuals and must be taxed differently.

Police Department

A motion was approved to pay $5,588 for structural repairs at the McPherson Animal Shelter based on the proposed rate supplied by Randas Construction. The repairs are needed due to just everyday use of the kennels and cleaning.

In addition, a motion was approved to pay the annual maintenance agreement fee of $29,694 for the 2017 Interact Records Management System. This is a budgeted item for the department.

Public Lands & Facilities

A motion was approved for the Annual Golf Course Biodegradable Hydraulic Fluid purchase from Kansas Golf and Turf out of Wichita at a price not to exceed $1,809.23. This fluid is used in almost all mowers at the golf course.

Commissioners also approved the request for annual plant materials and supplies from Ball Seed for $10,983.42. This is $600 more than last year's purchase. Flowers are placed along Main Street, Lakeside Park and the McPherson County Courthouse. The flowers are grown in the city's greenhouse to save money rather than purchasing the grown plants in the spring. In turn, a request was approved to purchase annual greenhouse supplies from Hummert International for $7,000.

A motion was approved to purchase a Hustler mower from Hometown Tire & Turf for $22,333.62. The new mower will be used at the McPherson Dog Park.

A 15-foot by 20-foot shelter will be constructed at the Oak Grove Park by Mid-Kansas Construction LLC for $10,572.70 and the city street department will lay the concrete pad for $1,943.96.

Public Works

Commissioners waived the drainage requirement of not allowing more than 6 inches of water over the roadway in a 1 percent flood event for the future site of the Best Western Plus on Champlain Street.

"As discussed in study session last week, the requirement of not allowing more than 6 inches of water over the crown of the roadway in a 1 percent flood event could be waived due to the fact that the property has other acceptable access, if a 1 percent flood event occurs," Public Works Director Jeff Woodward said.

Scott DeMott was approved to attend the Kansas WEA Urban Stormwater Conference in Kansas City, Missouri on Jan. 23 and 24, for a cost of $585.

A motion was approved to pay Pace Analytical $1,101.60 for laboratory analysis performed on Waste Water Treatment Plant produced bio-solids. This is a required test.

In addition, $1,641.59 will be paid to Dennis Friesen for 2016 farm management fees. Friesen manages the bio-solid land application program for the Waste Water Treatment Plant. His fees are 5 percent of the gross brome sales.

McPherson Housing Coalition

The city of McPherson will reimburse $42,420.52 to the McPherson Housing Coalition. This is the fifth reimbursement in the 2016 ESG Grant. This is 51 percent of the awarded $83,000 from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment.